Learn about Pewter

Pewter is an alloy of tin hardened with small amounts of other metals such as copper, lead, zinc, antimony and sometimes silver. The craft of pewtering started in antiquity - the earliest known item, a flask dating from c1450 BC, was found in Egypt.

Pewter is believed to have been introduced to Britain by the Romans, who exploited the main source of tin in Europe at the time, which was in Cornwall. The craft fell into decline after the Romans withdrew from Britain but it is thought that the Cistercian monks reintroduced it after the Norman Conquest in AD 1066.

Known as "the poor man's silver", production spread throughout the country with a wide range of mainly domestic goods being made.

In the year 1348 Articles were granted to the Worshipful Company of Pewterers in London, which enabled them to control the quality of pewter. Two grades of pewter were specified, and then later a further grade was added, and these three grades were adhered to until the 20th century. more...

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These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.

Seven various sized bulbous pewter mugs, 19th century, 4/8 cm high

A German pewter mug marked '2 Deciliter', circa 1880, 12 cm high, and a miniature mug marked 'Centilitre', 5.5 cm high

A Georgian pewter mug, stamped 'Pint' and initials 'C.S/NA', 11 cm high

A Georgian Officer's Mess pewter mug 1 pint, circa 1820, 13 cm high

Two Georgian pewter side pouring ale mugs, circa 1830, 11 & 16 cm high

A Georgian pewter small mug, engraved G.S, circa 1820, 12 cm high

Four items of Chinese pewter, comprising a circular tea canister, circa 1880 by Kutching, Swatow, 11 cm high, and engraved glass bottom mug, 10 cm high, a hexagonal tea pot, 9 cm high and a vase, 4 cm high

Four various sized pewter mugs, circa 1820. the largest 15 cm high

Graduated set 8 French pewter tankards. Possibly c.1900. Height 4 to 24 cm (each)

Two early Victorian pewter pub tankards. Pint touch marks to both. Private collection, Sydney.

Set 6 Chinese Swatow pewter tankards. Dragon decoration. Glass bases. Marked 'Heung.' some wear. Height 12 cm (each)

Collection of antique and vintage pewter mugs, jugs, salts etc

Antique 17th century pewter barbers mug, approx 11 cm high

8 various pewter items, including 6 matching English tankards; lidded Italian carafe; & Dutch swing handled dish. Height 23 cm (carafe)

Pewter 1/2 pint tankard stamped with broad arrow and ed under a crown (Engineers Department)

Pewter quart tankard, Birmingham mid 19th century

English half-pint pewter tankard by Richard Mister C.1810 (ale standard marks)

Cup, saucer and plates and a pewter mug

Six various 19th century pewter tankards from Durham, Walton-on-Thames etc.

Two Liberty 'Tudric' pewter covered tankards, early 20th century, each with Art Nouveau low-relief decoration and cane-wrapped handles, one with blue foil-backed cabochons, stamped marks and numbers underside each. Height 15.5 cm, and slightly shorter